The influence of gramicidin S on hydrophobicity of germinating Bacillus brevis spores

Eugene Rosenberg, David R. Brown, Arnold L. Demain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gramicidin S is known to prolong the outgrowth stage of spore germination in the producing culture. Bacillus brevis strain Nagano and its gramicidin S-negative mutant, BI-7, were compared with respect to cell-surface hydrophobicity and germination of their spores. Parental spores were hydrophobic as determined by adhesion to hexadecane, whereas mutant spores showed no affinity to hexadecane. Addition of gramicidin S to mutant spores resulted in a high cell surface hydrophobicity and a delay in germination outgrowth. The hydrophobicity of parental spores was retained throughout most of the germination period. Hydrophobicity was lost as outgrowing spores entered into the stage of vegetative growth. The data indicate that gramicidin S is responsible for the hydrophobicity of B. brevis spores. It is suggested that in making spores hydrophobic, the antibiotic plays a role in concentrating the spores at interfaces where there is a higher probability of finding nutrients for germination and growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic function
  • Bacillus brevis
  • Germination
  • Gramicidin S
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Spores


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